The Gym, Reading

Project: The Gym, Reading

The Gym at Broad Street Mall, in Reading, is the 38th budget fi tness centre to be opened by The Gym Group. The business operates a low cost membership model, which is thriving in these recession-hit times, popular with consumers who require quality and good value; no-strings-attached membership, without being tied into a contract.
Situated within a two storey brick-built building, The Gym was formerly a retail outlet within a shopping centre, which was stripped out for refurbishment. The Gym operates around the clock, so clients including shift workers can exercise at any time. The demand for air conditioning during this daily cycle can alter radically depending on the external temperature as well as the number of clients within The Gym at any given time.
The Solution
Daikin Sky Air Twin systems were chosen to off er a complete comfort solution for the control of heating and cooling. The system easily meets the fl uctuating heating and cooling demands of The Gym, and is recognised as a standard solution to maximise pipe runs with simple zone control.
The Sky Air system consists of a 20kW outdoor condenser unit containing an inverter driven compressor, which allows the capacity to be matched to the internal comfort requirements. The seven outdoor units are connected to nine self-cleaning roundfl ow cassettes within the gym area and two fan coil units in the changing rooms.
The systems are operated via intelligent control solutions, theDaikin RTD-20, controlled from the Manager’s Offi ce. These controls automatically assess the building’s heating and cooling requirements - via multiple passive infrared sensors that detect activity in the building - and output is adjusted accordingly. The Daikin RTD-20 enables the system to operate at part-load settings whenever possible, so that it maintains optimum effi ciency thus delivering major energy savings.
The Daikin RTD-20 is designed for retail environments or where there are people present in multiple zones. It has a number of optimised strategies such as heat/cool clash prevention per zone and the ability to control to within 0.1 of a degree. These strategies are built into the software so when the system is switched on, it constantly adjusts itself to maximise energy savings depending on the load requirements while maintaining comfort for the customers. The Daikin RTD is also recognised by the Energy Technology List and qualifi es for Enhanced Capital Allowance (ECA).
The self-cleaning roundfl ow cassettes deliver warm or cold air to the gym areas as required. The cassettes’ unique self-cleaning function automatically clears the fi lter up to four times a day, so that the system continues to operate effi ciently and consistently all year round.
Any dust extracted from the fi lter is collected in a chamber within the cassette, which can store the dust for 3 -12 months, depending on the environment and system running time. The collected dust can then simply be extracted using a normal vacuum cleaner, making cleaning and maintenance as simple as possible.
David Melhuish, Head of Property Development, at The Gym Group explained: “Maintaining the perfect environment within The Gym is essential and as a 24/7 operation we required a system that was exceptionally reliable, as well as energy effi cient. We conducted a controlled trial of the Daikin Sky Air Twin systems with selfcleaning cassettes and the Daikin RTD-20 retail energy saving controllers in our new gym in Peterborough and found that it delivered a saving of over 45% in comparison with a standard installation.”
David also explained that “the self-cleaning cassettes removed the need for monthly manual cleaning, allowing our maintenance team to invest time in other tasks. The increased effi ciency, reduced maintenance and extended warranty provided by Daikin, led us to complete a full installation at our Reading Gym and we are continuing to use the Daikin system in our planned roll-out programme with new Gym openings in Cardiff , Ilford, East Croydon and Milton Keynes.”
The installation
The installation was carried out by Airtemp AC Ltd, of St Leonards on Sea, East Sussex. Anthony Webb, Managing Director of Airtemp, explained: “The Daikin Sky Air system is very user friendly and easy to install and we can be confi dent that when commissioning and switching on for the fi rst time, each system is sure to work. The RTD-20 controls, however, were new to us but with Daikin’s support we are now fully equipped to install and commission this advanced technology.”
The Daikin Sky Air range meets the EU’s Energy Related Products Directive relating to seasonal effi ciency requirements